The Pain of Reporting - Understanding your Gym’s Membership Engagement Data

Getting to grips with your data doesn't just help you to see where your leads are coming from but how your sales reps are engaging with them. It tells you how your members feel about the experience they're getting and which of them are at risk of churn. Decisions without data isn't intuition, it's guesswork.
Phil Spurgeon
Phil Spurgeon
October 6th, 2023
The Pain of Reporting - Understanding your Gym’s Membership Engagement Data

Good data is the foundation upon which all decisions are made within the fitness industry. Without it, it’s impossible to measure pipeline, gym sales, membership retention, average spend, and more.

However, gaining insight into the data isn’t easy. For your average data scientist, reports full of numbers are mysteries to be solved. For everyone else, they’re laborious, time-consuming, and difficult to decipher.

But decisions without the data to back it up are little more than guesses and fraught with risk. No matter how well your business intuition may serve you, it’s no way to run a successful fitness center.

Leads get missed or dry up altogether, gym member retention rates drop, and member engagement declines.

Understanding your membership engagement data, and what tools are out there to help you do so, is key to your long-term success. 

Breaking down the Silos

The innovation in marketing communication technology and data management has been accelerating for years. Marketing automation alone has transformed how gym and fitness operators engage with their prospects and members.

However, the existing membership engagement and gym sales technology stack in the fitness industry falls short. Be it email marketing or gym sales platforms, hoard their data and do a poor job of providing actionable insights from it. This makes it next to impossible to get any understanding of buyer behavior.

At least, not without a significant amount of manual intervention on your part. Pulling data from multiple sources and manually collating it significantly reduces its usefulness while increasing the likelihood of errors. 

Essentially, by the time you have consolidated the data, cleansed it, and analyzed it the chances of you getting anything actionable (or profitable) out of it are low to nil.

You also need to do it faster than a machine can to stand any chance of creating a relevant and engaging campaign.

Don’t forget, your prospects and members are generating more data all the time. A means to consolidate your gym’s prospect and membership data into one place is arguably the most important thing you can do. 

With centralized data, or ‘smarter’ data, you’re in a better position to manage and use it strategically. Significantly, you can segment your gym’s data effectively. Your ability to segment your data in real-time will directly impact your ability to create member engagement and member acquisition campaigns that convert because you can move faster on smart insights.

Segmentation and Personalization

Data segmentation is key to your ability to create personalized campaigns. Your fitness center has a wealth of data available to it, all of which can be used to create relevant, personalized membership engagement campaigns.

The more data you harvest the more data points you have to create relevant campaigns. And, by extension, the more campaigns you run the more data you have to create campaigns.

By having your data all in one place, you can use your first-party data to create campaigns relevant to each of your members. Because you’ll have data on:

  • Membership type

  • Length of membership 

  • Frequency of visits

  • Duration of visit

  • Classes booked

  • Classes attended

  • Personal training history

  • Ancillary sales in person

  • Ancillary sales online

  • Clothing size

  • Color preferences

  • Food and beverage preferences

And likely more besides. All of this information can be used not only to create personalized email marketing campaigns but to generate more ‘smart’ data.

Creating surveys and questionnaires based on segmented member data allows you to harvest all important zero-party data. While first-party data is what your members have done, zero-party data is what they think. That fairly broad interpretation includes what they’re interested in, what their fitness goals are, their opinions on fitness, your gym, and more.

Collecting this data is invaluable. When it’s combined with first-party data and other data you have like demographics and geographic information, your membership engagement can really fly.

Providing it’s segmented. Gathering this information without applying the required segmentation is a wasted effort. Going as granular as you can with your gym membership data will allow you to create next-level membership engagement campaigns.

Measuring Membership Engagement

Member engagement has a holistic, emotional component that equates to the level of connection members have with your gym. However, the technology doesn’t yet exist to track how frequently your members think about going to the gym. 

Engagement is the point a gym member views your gym as a trusted partner on their fitness journey. Rather than just the place they go to work out.

Asking questions is the most effective way of measuring your gym membership engagement.

If you’re managing your members correctly, asking questions won’t be an imposition. Engaged audiences are usually happy to contribute to an organization they feel a sense of belonging to.

Ask for feedback three weeks into a new class. Or what they think of the service level, the timetables, or even the flavors on offer at the smoothie bar.

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is the benchmark for determining the overall satisfaction of your members. So these should be sent out at least annually.

AI-powered automation can manage this process. Simple triggers can be created so that, as members reach milestones in their member or fitness journeys they receive the appropriate survey. Use split-testing to determine which messages are more likely to generate responses. Then apply these learnings to subsequent campaigns, boosting uptake and deepening your understanding.

Every response is a measure of engagement. And a useful zero-party data-gathering exercise. The more information members provide, the more information you can use to communicate with them in the future. 

You may want to employ a scoring system to determine overall gym member engagement. You can also combine it with the engagements you have tracked to date to give a fuller picture of how your members are behaving.

Blending your first-party and zero-party data is essential to give yourself the most complete view possible. 

Membership Engagement Data

Membership engagement data is the total of every interaction your members have with your fitness center. There is no shortage of analogies to describe membership engagement, such as a ladder or a journey.

Regardless, every gym member will be at a different stage of engagement with you. Ranging from new members to members who have been with you for years.

Their stage of engagement won’t just be dictated by their years of membership or brand loyalty. Engagement is a direct result of relevance so the better you are at communicating with your members, across your various channels, the more likely they are to engage.

But, all of this is irrelevant unless you can track it. 

Membership engagement, fundamentally, is a measurement. Although, it’s important to understand that you won’t be able to track everything.

The personal, holistic, interactions that go on every day in your fitness center are almost impossible to report. While team members can make notes against member profiles, it’s time-consuming and takes them away from the gym floor.

The exception is if those conversations resulted in the member expressing an interest in a gym membership upgrade, a personal trainer consultation, or other upsell opportunities.

However, what you can track, you should track.

A unified database makes this easier as every interaction a member has with your fitness center ends up in their profile.

Whether that’s email campaigns, WhatsApp messages, or surveys, it deepens the level of understanding. 

The more you understand your customers the easier it is to communicate with them and market to them. More importantly, you can start to predict their needs.

Predictive Analytics are underutilized by fitness operators. Predictive analytics can be used across the entire buyer journey whether that’s identifying the leads that are likely to convert or members at risk of churn.

Treat Members the Way They Want to be Treated

A data-rich, segmented membership profile, underpinned by predictive analytics is a powerful thing. Not only can you determine churn risk, but you can spot downward trends long before they get to that stage.

Better still, you can start to build campaigns that respond to members’ needs before they know they have them.

Especially if you employ the use of an AI-assisted content creation tool and automated outreach. The challenge of any kind of membership engagement is the scale of it.

The better your data gets the more you have to communicate with your gym members about. Even your gym sales processes get more involved. 

Using AI and automation you can apply your segmented data so your members receive communications from you anticipating their needs and wants.

Don’t worry if not every email lands with your members. Their lack of engagement feeds the fire as your centralized membership engagement platform can update their profile. Lack of engagement is, when used correctly, a useful nugget of zero-party data to better understand your members.

Member Leads and Gym Sales Reporting

Once you’ve got your gym membership engagement flywheel going, you’re in a much stronger position to report on it.

Remember, the key lies in accurately reporting on the actions your members take and the data they have provided. Your ability to track this data also makes your future engagements more successful. Both for established and new members alike because the more data that is fed into the system, the more accurate the predictions become.

Data consolidation within a membership engagement platform lies at the heart of all of this effort. Breaking down the silos and pooling your data in one place is, in the competitive landscape of fitness, business-critical.

The effectiveness of your reporting allows you to know where to put your energies. Your ability to see which center has the most leads and new members is useful. Knowing who in your sales team is closing the most (or not) is insight. 

Knowing how many gym leads come in a week is fine. Being able to identify what days of the week are busiest and what campaigns prospects are responding to is actionable. 

It allows you to set realistic targets, rather than a blanket X number of leads a day, no matter what. Which is both ill-conceived and demoralizing for staff.

Similarly, it’s one thing to know your churn rate. It’s another to be able to see who is at risk of churn before they cancel their membership. That level of insight, combined with an AI-powered membership engagement tool, can change the behavior and retain those members.

But you need to be able to see the risk before it’s too late.

Automation-Powered Membership Engagement 

Moreover, leveraging advanced technologies like AI-powered marketing automation and content creation tools is a highly effective way to engage with your members at scale.

When you’re in a position to report on every stage of a member’s fitness journey with you, then you’re in a position to leverage that data.

That means your member engagement campaigns can start from the moment someone submits a membership inquiry.

Prospects can instantly get dropped into a nurture sequence. You can also create triggers so anyone expressing an interest in nutrition and personal training can flagged to relevant team members for follow-up.

By putting your membership data in one place, you can quickly identify what engagement has worked and what hasn’t.

You can determine who your most engaged members are and offer them personalized rewards or enroll them in a loyalty program.

Without this level of transparency and granularity, you’re left with your finger in the air, wondering if your communications are doing anything at all.

Ease your pain

Book a demo with a member of the team so you can see how Keepme can transform your lead management and reporting.